The public posting of grades either by the student's name, institutional student identification number, social security number, or any portion of these numbers without the student's prior written consent is a violation of FERPA. This includes posting grades to a class/institutional website and applies to any public posting of grades for students taking distance education courses.
Even with names obscured, numeric student identifiers are considered personally identifiable information. The practice of posting grades by social security number, student identification number, or any portion of these numbers violates FERPA.
Notification of grades via a postcard violates a student's privacy.
There is no guarantee of confidentiality when sending grades via email or the Internet. The institution would be held responsible if an unauthorized third party gained access, in any manner, to a student's education record through any electronic transmission method. A third party in this definition could be parents or guardians, boyfriend or girlfriend, roommate, etc. Only secure web sites which require authentication (howdy.tamu.edu) should be used for accessing grade information.